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Picture my Walk to School

Wednesday, 09 October 2013

To celebrate international Walk to School month this October, Hampshire County Council and Living Streets are running a photo and caption competition for all primary and secondary school students across the county as part of the My Journey campaign to encourage people to try leaving their car at home for some of their journeys.

There are lots of great reasons why it's good to walk and this competition will give children one more. The winners will receive a Culture-all passport, a family railcard and a canvas of their photo for their school.

Children are being encouraged to take a photo that fits under one of five themes; Walking Safely, Hidden Treasures, Healthy Body, Eco Friendly and Fun and Social, and then add a suitable caption in no more than 100 characters and email it to wtsm.competition@hants.gov.uk by 31 October 2013.

To kick start the campaign, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, Councillor Seán Woodward visited Mengham Junior School, Hayling Island where he spoke to children about walking to school and launched the competition.

Hampshire County Council is keen to encourage families to walk, cycle or use more sustainable forms of transport to get to school which not only helps children stay fit and healthy but also eases congestion on the roads.

The number of children travelling to school by means other than the car has increased to 53 per cent in 2012 from 40 per cent in 2003.This has been partly thanks to the free travel planning advice Hampshire County Council provides to over 500 schools and its road safety education programmes such as 'Streets Ahead' pedestrian training for six and seven year old children, Bikeability cycle training for children age nine to 14 years and scooter training for primary age children.

Councillor Seán Woodward said: "There are lots of good reasons to take part in this challenge and I hope that those who take this opportunity to walk, when they would normally travel by car to school, will notice a difference and continue to walk. Children do not learn valuable lessons about road safety and how to keep themselves safe by being driven to school every day. By walking we should also find that congestion on our roads, particularly at peak times, decreases."

Living Streets Chief Executive, Tony Armstrong, said: "As the charity that runs the national walk to school campaign, we know from parents and teachers that children who walk to school are not only healthier and fitter, but more alert and ready to learn when they arrive for their lessons. Most importantly children tell us that they enjoy it. We're delighted to be working closely with Hampshire County Council to remove the barriers to walking and enable as many children as possible to enjoy the benefits of walking to school."

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